M-Y-S-T-E-R-Y

     Brush up on your vocab skills, y’all!  We’re days away from opening And Then There Were None, but I’m already excited about starting our next Teen Theatre class.  The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has been one of my favorite shows since I saw it on Broadway while I was in college.  The music is awesome, the characters are devastatingly easy to identify with, and it’s just darned funny. This show is that perfect melding of side-splitting humor and excellent story telling.  I think it will be a wonderful challenge for all involved, on and off the stage.

     I am hugely excited to be working on this project alongside Brandon Kaufman and Corbin Hernandez! Brandon will be our Musical Director, but he will also be stepping out from behind the piano to Assistant Direct.  Corbin will be our Stage Manager, overseeing the technical aspects of the show, and running warm-ups for the cast.  We will focus a lot of warm-up time on honing our ad-libbing and improv skills, which are key in a show with audience participation.  You never know what can happen!

      The…Bee is open to high school students of all abilities. Classes begin March 11th, meeting every Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm-6pm, and the show opens on May 16th!  Registration forms can be found in the front office at SCT, or by clicking this link right here

     Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t implore you to catch this week’s Teen Theatre production of And Then There Were None! (Intrigue, murder and madness, oh my!)  Based on the best-selling mystery novel of all time, Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, this show will keep you guessing til the end! Starring Emily Edwards, Noah Edwards, Brennan Jones, Caitlin McCarthy, Catie Morris, Michelle Negley, Matt Weeks, Matthew White,  and Corinne Willis.  Four shows only!  Friday at 7pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7pm; Sunday at 3pm.  Come see some of the incredible young talent growing up at SCT.

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Coming Home, by Laura Keena

     I am so glad to be home!

     I am also glad to say that working here at Savannah Children’s Theatre is one of the reasons why.  I loved growing up here in this enchanting place and, like so many of us, my life was forever changed after auditioning for a Kelie Miley production (Peter Pan, to be specific).  After that summer in **cough cough** it was all over!  The theatre bug had seriously bitten me, and I was forever to be a lost boy.  A theatre kid to the bitter end!

     In high school I knew that I wanted to leave Savannah (isn’t that what everyone wants in high school?), and I did.  I went to college in Washington DC, home to a surprisingly vibrant and thriving theatre community.  I studied in London and New York.  I worked in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, anywhere that would allow me to do what I loved!  For a long time Savannah was behind me.  Not forgotten, but not in focus.

     I think of our recent graduates, some of whom are now in their first year away from home, and I remember that bittersweet time in my own life.  Simultaneously loving being away from home, meeting new people and learning so many new things, but also being surprised by how deeply I missed my home.  I’d go about my days, happy to be out on my own, until a sudden craving for my dad’s homemade spaghetti sauce (affectionately known in my house as “the nectar of the gods”) would hit me in the gut.  I was a strong, independent, career-oriented woman…until I came down with the sniffles.  Nothing says “you’re an adult now” quite like buying your own Kleenex and cold medicine.  Eventually, you find your way and you build your home wherever you are, and a while after I left, Savannah stopped feeling like my absolute home.  Until this year.

     Since I moved back in January, I have had the honor and pleasure of working alongside my best friend, my first director, and countless former cast mates.  Like everyone else who works at Savannah Children’s Theatre, I think it best to say that I wear many hats.  Since starting to work here I have been challenged and inspired daily, and it’s only been nine months!  One day Assistant Music Directing 42nd Street, the next Stage Managing Charlotte’s Web, another day rehearsing Jane in our upcoming production of Tarzan, and starting today, Directing And Then There Were None for our burgeoning Teen Theatre class.  I am so glad to be home, doing what I love with the people I love, and being a part of this wonderful arts community!

     So for those of you recently gone, or for those of you preparing to go, know in advance that it’s going to be hard.  And know in advance that it does get easier.  And know that, sometimes, you can go home again.